There’s always something to howl about

Not everything can be coordinated in cyberspace. When you gotta move, don’t take a turn without Twist.

Twist screen shotCathleen and I have been playing with a new iPhone app called Twist. (Hat tip: GeekWire.)

What is it? In the shortest possible summary, Twist is ETA software. You tell it where you’re going, it tells you and the people you’re meeting there when you will arrive. Or they can tell you when they will arrive, so you don’t waste time thumb-twiddling. ETA is calculated on your actual motion, so it doesn’t tell anyone anything until you actually hit the road.

Twist integrates with iCal (which integrates with Google Calendar). It will tell you when you need to leave for an appointment so you won’t be late.

It also taps into your contact database, so you can select any destination you already know about. Twist keeps track of your past destinations, so reusing them is a breeze. And you can set up favorite destinations you use all the time (like your home or office), adding in the contacts associated with that site, for one-touch Twisting. (Realtors: Think about how many times you go back to a house you have listed or put under contract.)

And it integrates with Google Maps to give you driving directions and real-time progress updates on your travels. I don’t use GPS, and I’m off-the-charts kinesthetic, so this is more gee-whiz fun for me that something I need, but the people on the other end can track my mapping, too.

Here’s the PR movie for Twist, which for some reason is focused on dating:

Who (besides nervous daters) can use Twist? Happily-committed couples; if you’re cheating, Twist will tell on you. Bosses with drivers on the road, stipulating that the ability to supervise creates a liability for failure to supervise. And: Real estate professionals. Twist makes it easy to plan your day, to coordinate with clients, vendors and other team members — and to tell your spouse and kids when they might expect to see you again.

What would I change in the software?

I want every event in my calendar to be Twisted automatically, in the background, without my intervention. Moreover, I want the calendar integration to be more heuristic: It it looks like a street address, use it. Software that tries to engineer me is never fun.

I want the ETA estimates to be based on my track record as a driver. I move through space at least 30% faster than Twist thinks I should. Over time, the ETA times should be based on my actual pace and not Twist’s (and Google’s?) surmises.

Likewise, if I regularly deviate from the suggested route (I know all the sneaky back ways to get where I’m going), I want to use my route, not Twist’s. Anyone coming by separate vehicle should have my superior route to follow, as well.

There’s more that I haven’t even talked about: Facebook, Yelp, Twitter, walking and mass-transit options, weather, photos (including Google street view), etc. If you are committed to living a fully transparent life, Twist gives you a documented paper trail for all your movements and appointments.

Hiding from the spouse? Hiding from the boss? Hiding from The Man? Twist is not for you. But if you want to maximize your use of the precious minutes of your day, it’s a sweet little app.


4 Comments so far

  1. Cathleen Collins July 22nd, 2012 10:05 am

    Another great real estate application: I’ve added my listings to my Twist favorites list, and set up those favorites with my sellers’ contact information. This way, whenever I go to the properties to service them or to show, my seller clients have notice that I’ve been to their house.

  2. Greg Swann July 22nd, 2012 10:24 am

    Brilliant. You get the Purple Heart not for catching a bullet but for doing it while the general is watching.

  3. Sean Purcell July 23rd, 2012 9:40 pm

    Very cool app. I sometimes am concerned about all the tracking I submit myself to… a little too much data collection somewhere up in Big Brother land. Does that ever concern you?

  4. Greg Swann July 24th, 2012 6:53 am

    > a little too much data collection somewhere up in Big Brother land. Does that ever concern you?

    When they come to arrest you, it won’t be for something you did but for something they can scare your neighbors into believing you did. The “evidence” they use against you will have been fabricated. In that respect, any multiply-redundant records you can establish that contradict their fabrications is to your benefit. Nothing brings out the sanity in cops like smartphone video. Ideally, multiply-redundant video stored in real-time in the cloud is your best hope of safety from all false claims. As we have discussed before, facts are facts and almost none of them can be concealed. Your best benefit is to be realized from extreme transparency. Even then, if the state wants you gone, you will be breitbarted without a backward glance. This will be true as long as there is a state.